Sunday, November 02, 2008

Rock N Romp

As you may know, Chip is one of the people who organizes the RnRs. As such, I usually let him do the recap blog post. This time, however, I'm taking it. Chip usually tows the party line, but after three years I think it's time to hear about an RnR from me.

For the last show of the season, the RnR was at the Metal Museum. I have no idea how that came to be, but it was awesome! To begin with, the weather was perfect. But so was the venue. Plenty of lawn space that was far enough away from the music for easy conversation, but also easy access to the bands if you or your kids wanted to focus on the show or dance. And the river rolled along in the background.

Chloe and I missed the first band (the Nellie Olsens), so all I can say about them is that based on pictures I saw, their makeup was awesome. This particular RnR had four bands and lasted four hours, the longest show yet. And that's just too long. I know that it isn't a requirement to stay the whole time for most people, but since Chip has to get there early and then stay late to clean up, it really dominates my Saturday. And Saturdays are the only time I get things done! This weekend I was able to clean up some while Chloe napped, but I wasn't really able to run errands. Now I have to squeeze a trip to Target into my lunch hour tomorrow! But I digress.

We got there right before The Barbaras started. They were great! Chloe was excited to dance along, and a lot of adults were standing up near the front to listen rather than lounging around talking. They were a perfect band for an RnR.

The True Sons of Thunder were next, and they were not my cup of tea.. I know they have their place in the music world, but I didn't think they were a good fit for the RnR. They were really loud, too loud for me to tell what was going on musically. Everyone in the place moved as far to the back as possible while this band shocked all the mommies at the RnR. Even Chloe, who was determined to dance, asked for earplugs! She actually led me back to where the earplugs were, since I couldn't hear her well enough to understand what she wanted. Multiple people came up to me and, knowing that Chip has some pull, asked me if I could do anything about cutting this band off. I don't know if that was necessary, but I would like to think that the RnR organizers took note of the crowd reaction rather than just acting like that volume level was no big deal.

I've been told repeatedly by the RnR braintrust that they talk to the bands about the volume beforehad, but that they can't really ask them to turn it down once they start. I've always thought that was BS- I mean, the whole hook for the RnR is for it to be kid-friendly! The only complaints I have EVER heard about the RnRs is that they are too loud. In fact, yesterday at the show I met a woman who told me she went to a few and then dropped out because it was too loud and her family just didn't enjoy them. She went yesterday because of the venue, and felt better about the volume other than this one band. I told her the story about how you can't ask a band to turn it down, and she said, "YES you can! Whatever!" Heh. I've been telling Chip that for three years, ever since my two-week-old baby was yelled at by Noise Choir at the very first RnR. Fortunately, most people come anyway and it's just a few people who are willing to act on their dislike of the volume rather than just bitch idly about it like I do. The whole program is awesome, and I'd hate for one little flaw to turn people completely off!

The final band was the best thing that has ever happened at a Rock N Romp. The Luv Clowns featuring Harlan T. Bobo. AWESOME. Now I say this despite the fact that I visited with people during their set rather than paying strict attention. But that's okay- they were geared towards kids! They were dressed as clowns, they had puppets, and they sang songs about how cleaning up your room sucks. All the kids sat attentively in front of the stage and loved every minute of it.

The RnRs have always seemed to me like a kid-friendly venue for adults to hear music, but it turns out they can also be an adult-friendly place for kids to hear music. I think everyone approaches it differently- my kids like all kinds of music, so I'm happy for them to hear regular bands, but of course they enjoy music that is geared towards them. Usually, in my car, it's Chloe who requests kid music. However, at this RnR she ignored the clowns but danced alone while the super-loud crappy band played. And Connor, who these days only likes Weezer, was glued to the set for the Luv Clowns. I like that they had the option, but I definitely tuned out during the puppet show. Are the RnRs for kids or for adults? I think it's for both, and each band affects everyone differently. No matter what, I'm glad to have Rock N Romp in my family's life.

So ends another year of Rock N Romps. I sure do enjoy them! I'm looking forward to next year already. If you'd like to see more pics, you can find them here.


Sassy Molassy said...

See, I was pretty disappointed that Harlan did a total kids' show, because I was looking forward to hearing him play his regular stuff. We had a great time, and I loved the venue, but I thought the whole musical lineup was probably the worst ever. Not a big deal--we love seeing everyone and hanging out--just an observation.

Stephanie said...

Good to know- thanks.

Sassy Molassy said...

It's always nice to know that people are interested in the spirit and content of your posts, isn't it? Tilde, can't you find some political A-hole blogger to annoy?

Unknown said...

Who invited Private Dick back to the party?

Stacey Greenberg said...

can we ignore/delete the trolls--i was actually hoping for a good discussion about RnR since we will be making preparations for 2009 soon.

sassy i can't believe you thought that was the worst line up ever! omg!!!!!! way to burst someone's bubble! :)

and steph, i think you make a good point about the kids. i'm open to having more kid type musicians but they'd have to be cool like the luv clowns, not typical kid musicians.

we probably won't do 4 hours again. that was mostly due to the fact that i really wanted to have the nellie olesons play after we already booked our usual three bands.

anyways--i'm sending a survey out soon. we do want to hear what people enjoy/want to change.

Memphisotan said...

I think having a kid-friendly act mixed in would be okay, maybe as the middle set, but I think some disappointment came from a lot of parents who have heard all the Harlan hype and really wanted to hear him play like they would at a regular venue.

Maybe I'm selfish, but I feel like there are a lot more opportunities for kids to be entertained than there are for parents. Although on the other hand, I'll admit that it was nice to have at least one of my kids totally enraptured and not clinging directly to my hip (thus making it easier for the other kid to drag me around by the pinky for three hours).

Anonymous said...

As a once or twice a year attendee (mostly due to travel), I thought it was a blast. Location was A+. Beer was A+. Weather was even better. The bands were fan freaking tastic for me (I love The Barbaras). When I saw the True Sons of Thunder listed, I was interested to see what would happen. I really like them (my wife will vehemently disagree with me). For Rocknromp? Maybe not.

I thought the Luv Clowns were incredibly creative. Kids loved them and I'm still pretty amazed by their set and still singing we're here for the kids. They put so much time, energy and even love doing that. Yeah, I love Harlan and his voice and his writing, but we get to see that 3-5 times a year at gigs where he gets paid. (Maybe he does for RnR too, but it couldn't be as much, right?)

Thanks to all of you who put it on. I'm sure it's a thankless job and a lot of hard work. I thanked Robbie already, but thanks to you, Stacey and Chip and everyone else as well.

cjaxon said...

I can't wait for next season! I have only been to the last two RnR's but I have really enjoyed it.
It was good to see you both again.
Katie had a great time. And we love the Luv Clowns!